Coal Rice Krispie Treats made with black food coloring are a fun and silly Christmas treat idea.
coal Rice Krispie Treats
Do you know anyone on the naughty list? Well, these lumps of coal Rice Krispie Treats are a fun no-bake dessert for Christmas. Wrapped in cell bags, they make a great stocking stuffer.
Simply make black Rice Krispie Treats, cut into squares, and shape into coal. That's it!
I'll echo the same warning I did with the black Rice Krispie Treats: Dark food coloring has a tendency to temporarily stain hands, mouths, and teeth. So perhaps these really are the perfect gift for the naughty list.
more Christmas Rice Krispie Treats
You only four ingredients to make these no-bake treats.
- butter - After extensive taste-testing, we found using European-style salted butter gives the very best flavor.
- crisp rice cereal - Kellogg's Rice Krispies is our go-to cereal when making treats.
- marshmallows - You can use mini or regular marshmallows just be sure to use a fresh package.
- Old marshmallows will be too dry and will cause your treats to be dry.
- We highly recommend using Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows. Store-bought marshmallows can be too chewy and sticky.
- Read our Marshmallow Conversion post for tips on how different brands have different weights.
- black food coloring
which food coloring do I use?
For the best coloring with little effect on altering the taste of the treats, I suggest using GEL paste food coloring.
You can find gel pastes in the craft store. Specifically, I recommend using Americolor Soft Gel Paste Super Black, found online.
TOOLS you'll need:
Extra large mixing bowl -- It's best to have room to mix the cereal with the marshmallow mixture. Grease the bowl with butter or non-stick spray.
Medium sauce pan OR large microwave-safe bowl -- You may melt the butter and marshmallows either on the stove-top or the microwave.
8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan -- I prefer the smaller size for thicker treats.
silicone spatulas -- My personal preference for mixing treats.
Non-stick cooking spray and non-stick foil --It helps to spray your pan, bowls, and spatulas with cooking spray. You may also line the baking pan with non-stick foil.
gloves (optional) -- As I mentioned, the black food coloring can stain your hands. It's temporary, but if you'd like to prevent this, I recommend wearing food preparation gloves.
Add the Rice Krispies to a greased, large bowl.
Line an 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper OR grease well.
To make Rice Krispie Treats on the stove-top:
Start to melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and heat, stirring frequently, until almost all of the marshmallows have melted.
Remove from the heat and stir well until very smooth.
To make Rice Krispie Treats in the microwave:
Place the marshmallows and butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
Heat for 1 minute and let sit for a couple minutes. Stir very well until smooth and melted. If needed, microwave for an additional 15 seconds.
Add food coloring
Add a few drops of black food coloring to the marshmallow mixture and stir well. Continue adding drops and stirring until you reach the desired shade.
With a spatula, scrape the mixture over the cereal and stir until well combined.
Transfer to the baking pan and flatten gently.
Alternatively, you can shape 16 pieces of "coal" now with your hands. However, I found it much easier to make the treats traditionally, in the baking pan, let them set well (1 to 2 hours), cut squares, and THEN shape each square into a coal shape.
Store your treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
To keep them longer, you can place the treats in a zip-top bag, remove all the air, and freeze them for up to 3 months.
For more information, check out our post on freezing Rice Krispie Treats.
coal Rice Krispie Treats
- non-stick cooking spray
- 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan
- non-stick foil or parchment paper
- large mixing bowl
- microwave-safe bowl OR saucepan
- silicone spatulas
- food preparation gloves
- 4 ⅔ cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 10 ounces marshmallows (about 40 regular or 6 cups mini)
- 4 tablespoons salted, European-style butter
- black food coloring (Americolor Soft Gel Paste Super Black)
- TIP: Grease your bowls and spatulas with non-stick cooking spray.
- Grease a large bowl and add the cereal.
- To make in the microwave, place the marshmallows and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute and let sit for a couple minutes. Stir very well until smooth.
- To make on the stove-top, start to melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir well. After 75% of the marshmallows have melted, remove from heat and stir well to completely melt the marshmallows. The mixture should be smooth.
- Add several drops of black food coloring to the marshmallow mixture. Add additional drops, stirring, until desired shade is achieved. You'll need quite a bit of food coloring, but I only go for a dark grey. Too much food coloring can affect the taste.
- Use a spatula to scrape the mixture over the cereal. Stir well until evenly coated.
- Transfer to the baking pan. Flatten gently and evenly. Let set 1 to 2 hours.
- Cut the treats into 16 squares. With your hands (use gloves to prevent staining your hands), shape each square into an imperfect ball shape. Coal!
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces marshmallows
- 7 cups Rice Krispies